Holy Women, Holy Men offers two commemorations for this day: W.E.B. DuBois and George Freeman Bragg, Jr. Dubois is a legend of the 20th Century civil rights movement. Bragg is less well known, but begs our attention on this day.
Born a slave in 1863, he grew up in the Episcopal Church and was graduated from Bishop Payne Seminary in 1886. He was an historian who focused on the African American Church and was a powerful activist in civil rights. With DuBois and others, he was one of the founders of the Niagara Movement, the precursor to the NAACP. Notably, he served for forty-nine years as rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Baltimore, where our Presiding Bishop Michael Bruce Curry also served as rector.